Archive for November, 2012

Gwir Flas Diodydd Cymru?

08/11/2012

Gwyriad o fy nghynllun gwreiddiol i edrych ar bob categori yn niwydiant diodydd Cymru gan fod seremoni wobrwyo Cymru Y Gwir Flas wedi ei gynnal yr wythnos ddiwethaf.

Fe aeth y gwobrau aur ac arian yn y categori Cwrw, Seidr a Pherai (o dan 10% alcohol fesur cyfaint) categori i Hurns Brewing o Abertawe, sy’n fwy adnabyddus efallai fel Tomos Watkin am eu Blodwens Beer a Premier Ale. Enillydd y wobr efydd oedd Coles Family Brewery am eu Carmarthen Gold.

Yng nghategori Gwin, Gwirodydd a Diodydd Meddwol Eraill (mwy na 10% o afc) Condessa Liqueurs o Fôn cipiodd y gwobrau aur ac efydd gyda’u Sloe Gin a Gwirodlyn Hufen Cymreig Praline. Fe aeth y wobr arian i Penderyn Distillery am eu Wisgi Cymreig Brag Sengl Penderyn.

Mae’n hefyd gwerth nodi fod Celt Experience wedi ennill y wobr arian yn y categori allforio.

Llongyfarchiadau mawr i bawb!

Mae’r Gwir Flas wedi gwneud gwaith clodwiw iawn ar gyfer y proffil ac ansawdd bwyd Cymreig, ond a’r Gwir Flas yw’r llwyfan gorau ar gyfer diodydd Cymru?

Hmm, dwi ddim yn siwr.

Nid wyf wedi fy argyhoeddi mai dyma’r ffordd orau i hyrwyddo diodydd Cymru gan fod Gwir Flas yn or-gysylltiedig a bwyd. Prawf o hyn yw’r ffaith mai dim ond dau gategori sy’n cynnwys y diwydiant diodydd yn ei gyfanrwydd lle mae yna lu o rai ar gyfer bwydydd.

Os oes angen prawf pellach nad yw’r gwobrau yn ddigonol ar gyfer hyrwyddo’r diwydiant diodydd yng Nghymru, mae’r ffaith nad yw’r un seidr, perai na win wedi ennill gwobr eleni. Mae hyn yn ran mawr o’r diwydiant heb unrhyw gydnabyddiaeth.

Mae hyn yn deillio o’r ffordd ryfedd y mae’r categorïau diodydd wedi eu dylunio yn seiliedig ar gryfder alcohol. Mae hyn bron yn gyfystyr i gategoreiddio bwyd yn ôl calorïau, sydd yn hurt wrth gwrs. Mae’r ffaith ei fod yn bosibl i fragu cwrw o dros 10% ac yn gwneud gwin llai na 10% yn dangos pa mor amheus yw’r ffordd hyn o gategoreiddio.

Tybiaf y byddai’r rhan fwyaf o bobl, os gofynnir iddynt, yn categoreiddio diodydd yn ôl eu math sef – cwrw, seidr, gwin, gwirodydd, gwirodydd ac ati.

I roi lle teilwng i ddiodydd yn y gwobrau fe fyddai angen creu llawer mwy o gategorïau a fuasai’n gwneud y gwobrau yn fwy anhylaw nag y maent ar hyn o bryd.

Credaf fod dau opsiwn. Symleiddio’r gwobrau fel bod pob categori yn cael pencampwr, enw gwell buasai ‘llysgennad categori’. Byddai hynny’n golygu un ar gyfer diodydd, un ar gyfer llaeth, un ar gyfer cig ac ati ac yna seremonïau categori a fyddai’n arwain i fyny at y noson fawr.

Yr opsiwn arall fyddai tynnu diodydd o’r Gwir Flas a chreu gwobr a brand penodol i ddiodydd. Byddai hyn yn adeiladu ar ac yn galluogi creu hunaniaeth neilltuol i ddiodydd Cymru, nod brand, a hyrwyddo diodydd yn seiliedig ar y gwerthoedd brand wnes i grybwyll yn fy mlog blaenorol.

Er bod y dewis cyntaf ei atyniadol, rwyf o blaid yr ail opsiwn gan ei fod yn rhoi diodydd Cymreig ar lefel gyfartal gyda bwyd, yn lle fod ei gysgod. Byddai’n helpu i greu hunaniaeth gref ar gyfer y sector diodydd yng Nghymru a gallai hefyd helpu cwmnïau ddarganfod ffyrdd i gael eu cynnyrch i’r farchnad gan fod cael gwobrwyau ei hun yn gwneud pethau eraill yn bosib fel gwobrau ar gyfer tafarndai ac ati gorau siopau, sydd orau ar hyrwyddo diodydd Cymreig. Buasai hyn yn annog eraill i ddilyn ac fe fyddai cwmnïau diodydd Cymru ar eu hennill.

Mae’r amser wedi dod i Lywodraeth Cymru i ddod â diodydd Cymru i’r amlwg ac allan o’r cysgodion. Mae gennym gynnyrch gwych, ond, fel yr wyf wedi crybwyll o’r blaen, mae maint y mwyafrif o gwmnïau yn golygu bod angen ychydig o gymorth arnynt i wireddu gwir botensial y diwydiant ac i atgyfnerthu eto delwedd Cymru fel lle gyda bwyd a diod ardderchog o’r ansawdd gorau posib. Dwi ddim yn meddwl y caiff hyn ei wireddu drwy fod yn rhan fach o wobrwyon a brand sydd wedi ei ddominyddu gan fwyd.

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True Taste for Welsh Drinks?

08/11/2012

A change from my planned look at the state of each category in the Welsh drinks industry as last week was the awards ceremony for Wales The True Taste.

Gold and Silver in the Beer, Cider and Perry (under 10% abv) category went to Hurns Brewing of Swansea, better known maybe as Tomos Watkin for their Blodwens Beer and Premier Ale respectively. Bronze went to Coles Family Brewery for their Carmarthen Gold.

In the Wine, Spirits and other alcohol (over 10% abv) Condessa Liqueurs of Anglesey took gold and bronze with their Sloe Gin and Praline Welsh Cream Liqueur. Silver went to Penderyn Distillery for their Penderyn Single Malt Welsh Whisky.

Also worthy of note are Celt Experience for their silver in the export category.

Hearty congratulations to all!

The True Taste has certainly done wonders for the profile and quality of Welsh food, but is True Taste the best stage for Welsh drinks?

Hmm, I’m not sure.

I remain to be convinced that it is the best vehicle to promote Welsh drinks as True Taste is too associated with food. Proof of this is the fact that only two categories cover the whole of the drinks industry and they are dwarfed by those for every category imaginable of food.

If further illustration was needed that the awards do not adequately promote the Welsh drinks industry, witness the fact that not one cider, perry or wine gained any kind of award this year. That’s a big part of the industry without any recognition.

This stems from the rather strange an indeed eccentric nature of the drinks categories, delimited as they are by alcoholic content – almost the equivalent of categorising food by calorific content, which is naturally absurd. The fact that it is possible to brew a beer of over 10% and make a wine below 10% shows the questionableness of this method of categorisation.

I suspect that most people, if asked, would distinguish drinks based on their type – beer, cider, wine, spirits, liqueurs etc.

To give drinks their rightful place in the awards would require many more categories making the awards more unwieldy than they already are.

Two options I think. Simplify the awards so that each category has an overall champion or better ‘category ambassador’. That would mean one for drinks, one for dairy, one for meat etc. and then have smaller category ceremonies that lead up to the big night.

The other option would be to separate drinks out from True Taste to have their own dedicated awards and branding. This would both build and enable a distinct Welsh drinks identity, brandmark, and promotion based on the brand values suggested in my previous blog entry.

Although the first option has its attractions, I think I would favour the latter as it would give Welsh drinks equal footing with food, not playing second fiddle as they currently do. It would help create a strong identity for the drinks sector in Wales and could also help companies with their route to market as having its own awards makes other things possible like awards for best shops, pubs etc. that are best at promoting Welsh drinks. This would encourage others to follow and Welsh drinks companies would be the beneficiaries.

The time has come for the Welsh Government to bring Welsh drinks out of the supporting cast and into the limelight in its own right. We have great products, but, as I’ve said before, the size of most companies means a little help is needed for the industry to realise its true potential and further raise the image of Wales as the home of excellent food and drink of the highest quality. I don’t think being a bit part of an award and brand dominated by food will achieve this.